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Two Quick Things You Should Know About Menopause and Weight Gain

By Lisa Bailey, PA-C


If you’re like many women over the age of 45 who already may have menopause on your mind, you may be wondering if midlife weight loss is achievable. As we age, it seems so easy for the scale to tip in the wrong direction. Why is it that weight gain seems more prevalent as we get older?


Hormones. The first thing to know about weight gain later in life is that hormonal changes that happen because of menopause can make it easier to gain weight. In fact, there is some hormonal component as to how we retain our muscle and carry our fat. Think of muscle as your engine. The more muscle you have, the more efficient your body is at utilizing calories. A strong body may be directly correlated with a good metabolic rate which helps lose those pounds, because muscle burns more calories than fat. 


Activity. The second thing to know about weight gain after menopause is that our activity level often slows down as we age.  Joints can start to hurt, and retirement may contribute to a more sedentary lifestyle.


Focus on staying active to build and maintain your muscle. Keep in mind that there are many ways to build muscle. You could join a gym and learn how to use the resistance machines. Or you could purchase some resistance bands and use them in the privacy of your own home. Another option is creating a circuit outside your home that has stations with specific muscle building activities. So, if you want to be your best and to live at your healthiest, you may have to make changes in your life. Take a big-picture approach to your health to prevent the pounds from creeping up.